Secret to getting things done
For a different way of thinking about organization, try the Getting Things Done (GTD) approach, developed by David Allen. GTD advocates collecting all the
that’s demanding your time, energy, and attention—e-mail messages, requests from bosses and coworkers, random things that pop into your head, and so on—and strictly organizing them into separate categories: things that you can act on right away and things that you can deal with later.
For things that you can’t accomplish in just a couple of minutes, GTD recommends creating different to-do lists. But while many of us sort our to-do lists by priority or project, GTD says you should organize them by
maintain one list for things that you need to do when you’re online, another for phone calls, another for items that involve driving somewhere, and so on. The idea is that if you feel confident that your tasks will come to your attention when and where you can take care of them, you’ll spend less mental energy keeping track of everything and more on getting it done.
You can learn more about GTD at the
GTD Web site. To interact with other GTD fans or to learn how others are trying to put the GTD philosophy to work, check out the
Lifehack blog, or
43 Folders, a blog and community forum devoted to GTD tips.
Joe Kissell is the senior editor of TidBits and the author of
Real World Mac Maintenance and Backups
(Peachpit Press, 2006).